"We are very excited about it. Not only are we a three-star, which there are only two in the state, but we are also a Model of Innovation winner," said Jason Price, a Marshall FFA advisor, along with Callie Dobbins and Randy Plattner.
The first award - as a Three-Star Chapter, was chosen from the 33 Missouri chapters ranked at the state FFA convention last April. Those 33 chapters "compete brand new again" with their application going in front of a national board of judges. Centralia FFA is the only other three-star chapter in Missouri this year. The other 31 Missouri chapters were rated as two-star or one-star winners. Two Marshall FFA members will be able to accept the three-star award on stage at the national convention in October.
The second honor Marshall FFA received is the Model of Innovation Award for student development. The award was presented to just 30 chapters in the United States or ten in three different categories, Student, Chapter or Community development.
"You have to be a three-star chapter to even be considered for Model of Innovation and with that the judges apparently felt what you were doing is different," explained advisor Callie Dobbins. "They really want to honor something unique."
The Models of Innovation award program is sponsored nationally by John Deere. It showcases innovative ideas and activities that a chapter participates in throughout the year. As a national finalist, the Marshall FFA chapter members and their Program of Activities will be featured in a National FFA publication highlighting the top FFA chapters and what they provide to their members, according to a press release from the National FFA organization.
They will find out later which activity or activities actually caught the judges' eye.
"We don't know which activity --whether it was one of them or all of them in that group -- but we do know it was in our student development section," said Dobbins, adding the chapter will soon be presented $500 for the honor.
At the national convention, the nation's top chapter will be chosen after two students from each chapter present the chapter's activities in front of a board of five to seven judges.
"They have to basically go through the application," explained Dobbins. She said the students will explain the activity or activities and the planning process. They will also have to present the impact and outcome of the activity. "Then they have to be able to answer questions about that as well."
On Thursday, Oct. 20, the Model of Innovation winners will be recognized on stage at the convention and the top chapter in the three categories will be named and presented an additional $500 award.
"We are so proud of our FFA chapter and members for this accomplishment," said Dobbins.
Since school is not in session, Dobbins said they haven't been able to tell many students, other than the FFA officer team, about the honor.
"It will be neat to be able to talk to them. We hope they can be proud and excited too," she said. "It's a big deal. Ten chapters out of the nation get picked for this and we were one of them."
Contact Marcia Gorrell at firstname.lastname@example.org